Michalis Andronikou





Michalis Andronikou is a composer and Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Providence University in Manitoba. He holds a PhD in composition from the University of Calgary. He received his Bachelor in musicology from the Department of Music Studies, University of Athens, Greece. He has a Diploma in Classical Guitar, Clarinet and Music Theory from the Trinity College and the Royal Academy of Music, and a Diploma in Byzantine Music from the Argyroupolis Municipal Conservatory. Michalis gained credentials in Harmony, Counterpoint, Fugue, and Music Composition (with Theodore Antoniou) from the Hellenic Conservatory. Moreover, he has studied Greek folk instruments such as lute, tampoura and bouzouki. 
Michalis has composed music for small and large ensembles, theatre plays, art exhibits, movies, songs. Seven CDs with his works have been released, since 2003, and his scores are published by the Canadian Palliser Music Publishing, the Bulgarian Balkanota, and the Italian Da Vinci Edition.







What does music mean to you personally?

Music is my path in life. It is what I have to do to feel happy and useful at the same time.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

No. Music is also all about reality, and all about reason, feelings, and emotions.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I would have been very unhappy if I was not a musician. I wanted to be a musician for as long as I can remember. It has always been a part of my life and doing anything else would not make sense.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future? The discussion about the age of the audience is a very old one, and for many reasons classical music still has an audience. I am mostly worried about the general understanding of the value of this music and the appreciation of the studies of music at a higher level but -at the same time- I am working on improving these at my work environment.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I believe that the role of classical music in the 21st century is to make people see the beauty around them and become more compassionate and sensitive. As Nietzsche said, "without music life would be a mistake," and people will hopefully understand this in the future.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

This means that the communication of the classical music and its message has to find the way to reach the right ears and hearts by involving any necessary means that are available either for the composition or for the performance and publication of the music. Each era provides the means for the production and the distribution of its music.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Creativity was always important and is equally as important, today. Artists need to dare to create whatever they imagine even if this is against the norm or what they are expected to do.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

I believe that a variation of styles of music in classical music concerts could help attract younger audiences. Even if this has to do with contemporary music concerts, they could include a variety of styles from minimal to experimental and from acoustic to acousmatic music, so that anyone could find something interesting according to their taste and background.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have a favorite piece (written by you)? How did you start working on it?

I do not have a favorite piece. I think that every piece was important to me at the time that I wrote it and -in a sense- each piece represents the stages of my growth. The creative process is different every time. Sometimes I prepare sketches, and some other times I will play around with a theme, a motive, or write down variations of an idea that I find intriguing.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

I tried them all by collaborating with artists of other fields and I also found them very enriching experiences in the creative process. It’s important to see your work through the lenses of a different art or artist and you certainly understand a lot about the creation and the perception of your art.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

There is always something that will suit everyone in classical music so if you did not find it yet, keep looking! There is so much good music out there and so many opportunities to listen to classical music in various fashions, that there are no excuses for anyone to not relate to classical music.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

Classical music and the arts in general should go beyond this simplistic dichotomy of “supply and demand.” There is no need for external demand in order to start creating or listening to music. The only real demand is the demand of the artist’s soul and the need to share the result with others.

Do you have expectations what regards to your listeners or your audience?

I believe that every person perceives music differently, and I appreciate the freedom and the plurality of perceptions. Since the audience has no expectations from my music (and even if it did have I would not have tried to satisfy the audience) why would I have any expectations from them?

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I have several projects that are coming up soon, including three publications from the Canadian Palliser Music Publishing in Calgary in Canada, a publication from the Italian Da Vinci Publishing, a publication from Les Productions d'Oz -Dobberman-Yppan in Québec in Canada, and various performances/ premieres/ recordings of my music around the world. Experimentation is always part of my creative practice but usually the final work does not involve any experimentation. I also like to improvise as a performer on various instruments, with musicians from all over the world, which allows me to think outside of the box and discover new ways of music communication.